Qateel Shifai

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Qateel Shifai
Born Muhammad Aurangzeb
(1919-12-24)December 24, 1919
British India now Pakistan
Died July 11, 2001(2001-07-11) (aged 81)
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Pen name Qateel Shifai
Occupation Urdu poet, Lyricist
Nationality Pakistani
Genre Ghazal
Notable awards Pride of Performance, 1994 by the Government of Pakistan

Muhammad Aurangzeb or Qateel Shifai (24 December 1919 - 11 July 2001) (Urdu: قتیل شفا ئی ) was a Pakistani Urdu poet.[1]

Early life[edit]

Qateel Shifai was born as Muhammad Aurangzeb in 1919 in British India (now Pakistan).[2]

His Career[edit]

He adopted Qateel Shifai as his pen name in 1938, under which he was known in the world of Urdu poetry. "Qateel" was his "takhallus" and "Shifai" was in honour of his ustaad(master) Hakeem Mohammed Yahya Khan Shifa, whom he considered his mentor.

Due to his father's early death, Qateel was forced to quit his education. He started his own sporting goods shop. Being unsuccessful in his business, he decided to move from his small town to Rawalpindi, where he started working for a transport company and earned about 60 Rupees a month.[3]

In 1946, he was called to Lahore by Nazir Ahmed to work as the assistant editor of the monthly 'Adab-e-Latif'[citation needed], a literary magazine published since 1936. His first ghazal was published in the Lahore weekly 'Star', edited by Qamar Ajnalvi (Ref.Pen Sketch of Qateel Shifai written by Akmal Aleemi)[citation needed].

In January 1947, Qateel was asked to pen the songs of a film by a Lahore based film producer,Dewan Sardari Lal.The first film he penned the lyrics for was Teri Yaad (1948) in Pakistan.[4] Then after working for some time as assistant lyricist to some of the famous poets/lyricists of the time (1948 to 1955 time period),[5] he eventually became a highly successful film lyricist of Pakistan and won numerous awards over the years for his film song lyrics.

His Legacy[edit]

Over 20 collections of verse and over 2,500 film songs for Pakistani and Indian films were published. His poetry has been translated into numerous languages including Hindi, Gujarati, English, Russian and Chinese.

Qateel Shifai received the 'Pride of Performance Award' in 1994 for his contribution to literature by the Government of Pakistan, 'Adamjee Award', 'Naqoosh Award', 'Abbasin Arts Council Award' were all given to him in Pakistan, and then the much coveted 'Amir Khusro Award' was given in India.

Qateel Shifai produced a film in his mother language—Hindko—in 1970. It was the first Hindko film which was named "Qissa Khwani". The film was released in 1980. He died on 11 July 2001 in Lahore. The street on which he lived in Lahore has been named Qateel Shifai Street after him. There is also a sector of Haripur city that has been named after him - Mohallah Qateel Shifai.

His Filmography[edit]

  • Bade Dilwala (1999) (lyricist)
  • Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan (1999) (lyricist)
  • Auzaar (1997) (lyricist)
  • Tamanna (1996) (as Qateel Shifai)
  • Naajayaz (1995) (lyricist) (as Qateel Shifai)
  • Naaraz(1994) (as Qateel Shifai)
  • Waqt hamara hai (as Qateel Shifai)
  • Sir (1993) (lyricist) (as Qateel Shifai)
  • Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee (1993) (English: Your Memories Have Returned) (lyricist) (as Qateel Shifai)
  • Tahqiqaat (1993) (lyricist) (as Cratil Sipahi)
  • Painter Babu (1983) (lyricist)
  • Shireen Farhad (1975) (lyricist)
  • Naila (1965) (lyricist)
  • Intezar (1956) (assistant lyricist)
  • Gumnaam (1954) (assisted Hakim Ahmad Shuja as junior lyricist)
  • Gulnaar (1953) (assistant lyricist)
  • Teri Yaad (1948) (assistant lyricist) - (English: Memories) (Equivalent Film Title in English)


  1. ^ PoemHunter website, "Qateel Shifai Biography", Retrieved 1 July 2015
  2. ^ Poetry One website, [1], Retrieved 1 July 2015
  3. ^ website, "Qateel Shifai Biography", Retrieved 1 July 2015
  4. ^ [2], Internet Movie Database website, Retrieved 4 July 2015
  5. ^ Including famous poet and writer, Hakim Ahmad Shuja, father of director-producer Anwar Kamal Pasha, who in fact penned some of the more famous songs later mistakenly credited to Qateel Shifai